Campaign of the Month: August 2012
Previous expedition to the Demonweb Pits
Expedition to the Demonweb Pits – Summary of previous expedition 10 years ago!
Here follows an annotation of the adventure as played by the G3 gaming group using “Expedition to the Demonweb Pits” by Wolfgang Baur and Gwendolyn FM Kestrel. (P 2007 Wizards of the Coast)
The bow of beasts dissolves the taint of the corrupted,
A pair of keys: a blackened tongue, a golden word,
Gidor and Pelius both arrived in Faerun from different prime material planes.
All of the others started out from the Silverymoon area of Faerun.
Gidor and Kerchenkov first met at the Village Green in north east Evermoors. They were befriended by the Cleric of Deneir, Carmine Beekeeper, and agreed to help her, escorting a drow prisoner to Silverymoon on behalf of that Church. Looking for someone to buy his newly acquired Alchemy Book, Gidor found Bukahrin, an alchemist with a laboratory in the city.
On the day of The Festival of Light the three of them also met up with Pelius, a cleric new to the city and on a divine mission, and Valar, a wizard who was intrigued by them and thought he spotted a route to increased spell knowledge.
After a delegation of clerics visited Queen Alustriel, it was communed that all five of the group were in some way to be instrumental in the battle against Eclavdra, the High Cleric of Lolth thought responsible for trying to capture Silverymoon in one of Lolth’s planar webs. It was further divined that only the Old Seer (a hermit living on top of a mountain called The Old Man) could guide them on their way forward.
The Old Man
The party travelled towards the mountain and there met two others, Savelius, a monk sent on a mission against chaos, and Grunthy, an elven ranger sent to assist him. Only Savelius and Grunthy arrived in time to meet the Seer, who predicted that they would meet the others the next day and suggested that they “follow the tracks of the drow”, further auguring that they would find their destiny in a place “further than the sun”.
After an attack by a drow cleric and her minions, they found a diary that had some useful notes concerning an inn called the Styx Oarsmen with mention of someone called Rule-of-Three. Following the trail of the drow, they found a cave guarded by mounted drow and powerful outsiders. They were guarding a planar portal.
In the battle that ensued, Pelius and Bukharin both lost their lives but the others managed to defeat the drow and escaped into the portal, using a lizard bridle as a key, before the remaining Outsider could react. The party found themselves in the dark smelly streets of a strange city.
They found a night market square and found out that they had entered the Planecity of Sigil, known to its locals as “The Cage”. Finding a cleric of Ra (by the name of Merrick Johnson) they were able to raise the cleric Pelius, who in turn met The Master, a high cleric of Ra, who used their large diamond to raise the alchemist, Bukharin.
On their first day the party sampled some of the many dangers of Sigil. Running to escape from an over zealous procession of evil priests, they stumbled into an alley and were attacked by a cranium rat swarm. With minimal damage and some nifty spell work by the wizard, Valar, they were able to defeat this abhorrence. However, the mental messages sent by the swarm still reverberated in their head – “Beware the demons, do not trust the angels – defeat the Spider Queen!”
In trying to escape from both the rat swarm and the procession, Pelius had managed to climb up a wall and enter the house of John and Mary Constable, who invited them for lunch. Having rented lodgings at the incredible price of 5gp per month from a demon named Greenock, they made off for the Lower Ward in search of The Styx Oarsman where they met an old Githzerai called Rule-of-Three, who had been mentioned in the drow cleric’s notes. He seemed to take a shine to them and offered to help them against the drow in return for three small favours – firstly, they should visit the Tower of the Prophet and obtain a prophesy, then they should go to the Beastlands to procure a powerful weapon called Thaas, and lastly they should go into the Demonweb Pits themselves. In return, he promised to help them in their quest against Lolth and Eclavdra and also find them a portal back to their home world.
Tower of the Prophets
After receiving their prophecy from the Tower, they were accosted by two of the archons who tried to prevent them from finishing their mission. A skirmish ensued, but before anyone good was endangered, a group of Archons arrived and sent the over-zealous couple back to the Tower. The High Archon then pleaded with the party to complete their mission, stating that there were greater forces at work and that the Prophecy itself predicted that the party would be instrumental in a higher battle against the powers of Chaos and Evil.
Back at the inn, Savelius almost caused a fight with a solitary drow but the group managed to subdue him. Rule-of-Three suggested the party visit both the library and a couple of scholars named Kemet and Gbemisola before entering the Beastlands via Yggdrasil, the great tree. The party went to the library and then bought a few items at the market before heading out onto the great branches, entering the planar route via a portal accessed through singing a hymn.
On the bough of the great tree the party were set upon by an unseen foe. Confusion abounded as a magical fog descended and a branch of the tree burst into flames and fell between them. Wizards readied spells and warriors readied arrows. Eventually, Grunthy spied one of their foes, a small faerie dragon, and let loose with one of his arrows, killing it instantly. Gidor saw another and exterminated it with a mighty fireball. A third escaped, threatening to “come back and get them someday.” Waiting for the magical darkness to fade, they started on their way towards the mighty tree trunk in search of a route to the Beastlands.
En route to the trunk, the party encountered a fearsome foe in an Elder Viper Tree. With its poisonous attacks and long reaching branches, it attacked but was eventually overcome. After reaching the trunk, the party were met by Kippenvall, the Ratatosk. Gidor had the enterprising idea of offering food which was eagerly accepted and as a result a friendship was formed. Kippenvall gave the party a guide – the female Ratatosk, Almveig. She dutifully guided the party through seven days to the portal with the Beastlands.
The Beastlands is a dark and wild place. Continually dark and continually wild. Although seemingly under a normal night sky, unnatural shadows disabled the use of low light vision and therefore visual range was restricted to 60’ of darkvision, courtesy of Gidor’s spell. Not long after arriving in the Beastlands a party of displacer beasts attacked the party, and merely seconds after, a second foe, obviously hunting the beasts, charged into the fray.
A mighty battle ensued in which two of the party members died – Kerchenkov at the claws of the displacer beast lord and Bukharin at the hands of the Hunter, who marked him with a mighty charge, returning back to deliver the coup de grace. The displacer beast lord was killed by an ingenious pairing of two portable holes and the Hunter, whose mount had been mortally wounded by Grunthy’s bowmanship, charged off into the night – defeated, but with his mark killed.
At this point it seemed the party were mighitly depleted and yet they had still not achieved what they came to the Beastlands to achieve. By a stroke of divine coincidence they were met by Gildor, Gidor’s father who had been looking for his son and had heard he was in the plane. Gildor accompanied the party on the way to the Island of the Hart Stag. Closing near to the island, they were apprehended by an ancient denizen of the forest – the wizened elder watcher – a tree-like being of divine magic placed in the forest by the great Elven druid, Annastriana Amakiir to defend the Beastlands against interplanar intrusions.
The elder watcher was no match for the party, however, and although it fought leaf and twig to defend its realm, it was itself defeated and killed. With the elder watcher killed, it was an easy task to wade across to the island and claim Thaas, the mighty demonbane bow of the Elves.
The Branch that Walks
After claiming the bow, the party returned to the great tree to find that Almveig was no longer waiting for them. Instead, another Ratatosk named Fastmundr waited to guide them. When asked what had happened to Almveig, the saddened ratatosk, replied that she had been “taken” by “the branch that walks” – an evil entity that lived within the boughs of the great tree.
Moved by the sadness of Fastmundr and the sudden demise of their new friend, Almveig, the party decided to combat this creature that seemed to cause their friends, the ratatosks, such grief, and they set off up the tree to take battle, joined by an elf friend of the ratatosks named Alleric.
The encounter with “the branch that walks” (an ironmaw) proved deadly and in the early stages the monk Savelius was downed by a double critical hit. It soon appeared that Valar would go the same way but by divine providence, his call to his Gods in the neutrally aligned conduit of the Great Tree elicited a major response by a deity that staved off the attack, killed the monster and granted Valar’s wish that Savelius be restored from the dead.
In return for killing “the branch that walks”, the Ratatosks rewarded the party with many gifts and told them of a great weapon that they could claim from the frozen land of the giants. Thinking they would be able to benefit from such a weapon, the party entered the realm of Rime Thuras, killed two giants using only ranged attacks, and then claimed their prize – a large sized intelligent Demon Quelling bastard sword named Daquis.
Armed with two powerful weapons and replenished with hope, the party made their way back to Sigil, using their funds to raise Kerchenkov and Bukharin, before heading off to the Styx Oarsmen to see Rule-of-Three about the next stage in their adventure.
In the bar, the group settled down among the demons, Gidor tried to chat up the barmaid and failed and Bukharin befriended a man called Gryfalcon, a Jaunter, who offered to help Savelius into a new occupation. After meeting Rule-of-Three, the party set off to their rented flat but were beset upon by a group of demons baying for their blood. Although the demons were defeated, the big boss seemed to get away, and even more disturbing – the whole event was witnessed by a group of Dabus, who seemed to take exception to Pelius, probably him because none of the others, apart from Savelius were identifiable due to a stinking cloud spell cast by the demons.
Following Gryfalcon, the group went into hiding in the Jaunter’s house and discussed the next step forward, deciding that it was finally time to enter the Demonweb.
Taking the spider’s egg, they went to the Weaver’s Guildhall in the Clerk’s Ward, crushed a spider’s egg and entered into a room scattered with hair and bones. In the centre was an adamantine block with four symbols inscribed. Two passages led from this place, each travelling along a 20’ weblike tube, 15’ high. After sometime the party came to an intersection with a wide room floored by web. Grunthy investigated the three other passages leading from the room but could find no other intersections.
The party decided to try the other passageway and encountered an area roughly carved in stone. Coming across a large arachnid creature, the party attacked and killed it outright, finding a small silver cube in the darkness of its lair.
Not long after leaving this stone cave, the party were attacked in the webbed corridor without warning by a Drow patrol. With the aid of a Daylight spell cast by Pelius they easily overcame the small group and even managed to keep one alive to question. When offered the chance of an honourable death in battle by Savelius, he gave the party information and then died bravely but with honour.
The party carried on and came to an intersection of two passages, where they easily managed to overcome three abyssal spiders. Shortly after this, the passages in front and behind them began to move and all agreed that the Demonweb had undergone one of the changes that the party had heard about.
The Hall and the Shrine
On reaching a large circular room of silver inlaid marble, the party found several passages leading off, as well as four teleportation circles. Using an Iron Pyramid key, four of them were able to teleport to the Arrival Chamber and back, thus determining a way to travel quickly through the plane. On discovering a secret passage, the group made its way down another long tunnel, eventually finding a Shrine dedicated to Lolth and supporting a giant adamantine statue. After finding yet another secret passage, the adventurers headed down the passage, overcoming an illusory wall to find a passage opening into a room with some sort of fire light coming from it. Unfortunately, Gryfalcon was unable to overcome the magic and find a way through the wall, so he gave over his Silver Sphere teleportation key and promised to meet the party back in Sigil.
The party soon found they were in a stone passage that led to stone rooms ahead. The most remarkable difference about this place was that for the first time since they had entered the Demonweb, there was light. Firelight and many other magical light sources illuminated a drow cleric, her Tiefling lover, and his cat familiar. After a cautious introduction, the group spoke to Lissondra, committed themselves to Rule-of-Three’s barter and heard news of an intended Council of Demon Lords to take place soon in the Demonweb pits itself. They asked Lissondra about the Fane of Eclavdra and she gave them a password to enter: “Eight Eyes and a Black Heart” but mockingly told them they would probably all die if they tried to enter.
Grunthy then asked for the whereabouts of any demons and she opened an illusionary wall, saying that the way forward led to demons.
The group then moved along the web until they came to a set of double doors. Entering, they found themselves in a hot smoky sulphurous room with two fiery demons. They stood in front of a molten fire pit and it was soon obvious that this was also a planar gateway, through which came three more demons and a gigantic fire spider, all of which attacked the party. At the end of the battle the party had emerged victorious and the last demon fled into the fire gate. The party then passed on through this stinking place and continued to journey the web, where they encountered a drow patrol. This was quickly despatched, mainly due to use of a Daylight spell, but Savelius discovered one of the party escaping. He tried to find the culprit but failed.
Handmaidens of Lolth
The party needed to rest and decided to go to the dark cavern they had discovered when they first entered the Demonweb. Unfortunately on their first watch they were attacked by a pair of patrolling Yochlols, Lolth-serving evil outsiders. This proved to be quite a struggle, especially when they summoned a 10 000 spider swarm. However, the party were able to defeat their foes and remained undisturbed for the remainder of their rest.
The Fane of Eclavdra
After resting, the party decided to enter the Fane of Eclavdra. Pelius had received a divine vision that led them to believe the best way of entry would be to teleport into the guard tower. Unfortunately, as they were doing this, the party were attacked by sporebats that attacked with enervation rays, leaving the party much weakened as they entered the tower. They quickly overcame the guards and moved up two floors, killing many warriors and a powerful cleric, before being discovered just before entering the top floor. An alarm went up and Eclavdra’s forces started mustering in the courtyard outside the tower. Fearful that they might be overpowered and cut off from escape, the party ran downstairs and escaped through the teleportation circle, fleeing back to Sigil in order to prepare themselves for an imminent return.
They returned like a Celestial Wind, wiping out most of the clerics in seconds, and proceeding to obliterate Eccoszt (lover of Eclavdra), Artoresz Eilservs (brother of Eclavdra), Garak the wizard, and Heveth, newly instated Deputy Head Cleric of the Fane, as well as two more captains and several warriors. Although they also sustained a character death and the insanity of Savelius, they were able to gain the platinum key and destroy the model of Silverymoon, thus saving their world.
Drastic Developments in Sigil, City of Portals
Returning to Sigil, Bukharin sensed the party might have been followed and so evasive tactics were taken. The party made it back to the house and Gidor’s father, Gildor, was able to sell the party loot in the Night Market. The following day, however, Gildor received news of his wife and he and Gidor left, never to return.
Pelius cast a Commune spell, determining that Gidor was alive and well but taken away and unable to continue with their quest.
The party decided to split up. Some went to Rule-of-Three for more information; some went out shopping in Market Square, and Valar stayed alone in the house with faithful servant, Asda, to start learning some of the new spells he had acquired. At this time, two drow assassins attacked the house and, luckily, Valar was able to escape to meet up with Vorlich, Kadence and Pelius in the Styx Oarsmen. Bukharin, however, was not so lucky.
After trudging through the market, consolidating stores and equipment, Grunthy, Savelius and Bukharin were attacked by a lone drow assassin on the lookout for them. He attacked and killed Bukharin but was, in return, killed for his efforts. The body of the killer was turned over to the Sons of Mercy and the three heroes went back to their lodgings in Market Ward, meeting up with the others, who had not only gained The Book of Flesh and Mirrors, but who had also been to see the scholars, Kemet and Gbemisola, and procured a Merchant’s Charter for Zelatar
The group decided that they would first rest overnight and then make for The Beastlands so that Grunthy could sanction his use of Thaas. After that, it was decided, they would make their way to Zelatar post haste. Rule-of-Three had informed them that they should meet the Bone Naga ambassador of Orcus in The Sign of the Black Heart Inn in Zelatar within seven days. The Ambassador would give them vital information about the up and coming Council of Lolth!
Death in the Beastlands
Returning to the Beastlands proved to be more dangerous than anyone had imagined. Even before the party got to the island they knew something was amiss by the amount of destroyed bodies lying around. Grunthy went first alone to the island but when he didn’t return the others also followed, finding out to their dismay that the island was now being protected by a wicked green dragon, which attacked them, killing both Valar and Bukharin. In a fortunate combination of good luck and skilful swordplay on the part of Vorlich, the dragon was defeated and its lair raided. Grunthy had now claimed legitimacy of Thaas and the group, with the help of their old Ratatosk friend, Fastmundr (now 20 years older than when they first met him), finally left the great tree and travelled through Sigil to the secret portal leading to Zelatar.
Fogtown, forty-fifth layer of the abyss
The one way portal led straight to a place outside the entrance to the city of Zelatar, where the party met and battled with a Hezrou demon, defeating him and freeing his slaves. One of the slaves, a tiefling called Risis, offered to be a guide for the party in return for his freedom, so taking the demon’s slave cart and the 10 000GP worth of gold bars, the party entered the city through the main gates, finding out to their horror that they were guarded by two ancient elder viper trees. These trees killed both Valar and Kadence but the party were able to escape into the alleyways in search of the Inn of Good Fortune, hoping to find out more information about their quest.
Before reaching the inn, however they were ambushed by a bunch of dretches and rutterkins, led by two tieflings, who demanded the group pay homage to Graaz’zt. The party took exception to this and combat ensued. The tieflings, it seemed, were in fact carnevus demons – gruesome creatures with two mouths and four hands, capable of making two attacks where most normal creatures could only make one. Things were starting to look very troubled for the party with four members killed. Valar, Kadence and Pelius were already dead, but just as noble Savelius died, he made a last anguished cry for his God. And his God listened!
All of the party were fully restored and they all arrived at the Inn of Good Fortune looking for clues and information. In a chaotic turn of events, Valar took a bad turn in conversation with a Marilith and was transported back to the trees at the gateway. Being left there on his own, he was soon overwhelmed and killed, with Lynlora and Bukharin unable to get to the gate in time to save him.
At the inn the party befriended a group of Githzerai, one of whom had ben a dear friend of Gidor, and in homage to his friend, had allowed his vassal, the celestial hound archon to accompany the party on their quest. Pelius, on the advice of Yenkle, the Gith sorcerer, approached a powerful lich, who may have been Vecna, and managed to buy a True Resurrection scroll in preparation for any future mishaps. On making this deal, Pelius also learned that the gold they had been carrying had been marked, and so with great haste, the party decided to leave the strangely titled Inn of Good Fortune to seek a place to hide before continuing with their quest to find the Bone Naga Ambassador of Orcus at the Sign of the Black Heart.
After an hour of searching, their guide, Risis, found an abandoned warehouse and the party broke in, secured the place and rested. On waking, one of the group heard sounds from below, and before long the party started a battle with a group of Tiefling adventurers, almost killing one, and one of their own almost dying before a parley was reached by the two parties. The others, it turned out, were a group of dwarves in disguise. Both parties swopped information, but the dwarves were leaving Zelatar and so the party travelled onwards. Finding a suitable green oven, they ventured through the portal and found themselves in The Running Market on the plane of Gallenghast.
Gallenghast, forty-sixth layer of the abyss
Here the party were quickly introduced to the torture and pain that are rife in Zelatar. After watching three public executions the group had a tiff with a group of Tieflings and helped the adjudications of a Lamia Noble with a large sum of money. Escaping the rough justice of Graaz’t, some of them were damaged by the ritual dance of a group of Vrocks, while some ran and some gathered information from one of the stalls. This information led the party into a trap, where ensued their most perilous conflict yet. Two invisible Bulezaus and three Shadow Demons attacked the party, killing four party members, two of them permanently. Luckily Pelius, Lynlora and Grunthy were able to escape and Kadence was raised. However, the Hound, Vorlich, and the NPC Risis were all permanently slain, their souls sold to be eaten by the Shadow Demons. Retreating to the Inn of Good Fortune, the party licked their wounds and prepared for the next step in their adventure – travel to the plane of Darkflame, where they hoped to find the Sign of the Black Heart and the Bone Naga Ambassador of Orcus.
Darkflame, forty-seventh layer of the abyss
The entry into the third realm of Graaz’t was pretty smooth. Thanks to the Windwalk spell of Pelius, the party were able to enter into the Boulevard of Viper Trees without being seriously molested by those ancient evil entities. Conveniently, they also entered the plane directly opposite their destination, The Sign of the Black Heart. On arrival in the Boulevard they were approached by Zaharial, a new ally made known to Pelius in a dream the night before, and a welcome addition he was, after the previous Shadow Demon destruction.
Entering the Inn, they soon learned that a good night’s sleep is hard bargained for in Darkflame, and with Bukharin using his best diplomatic skills, the party soon realised that they had spent their entire allowance and had come no closer to either a night’s booking or a meeting with the Bone Naga Ambassador. With Pelius’s Windwalk spell still running, they decided to return to the Inn of Good Fortune in Fogtown and return the following day. After their new member, Zaharial, had exchanged knowledge with a talkative Lamia Noble in the Common Room, they decided to approach the Sign of the Blackheart again and this time they actually met the ambassador in the Common Room of the Inn.
The Bone Naga Ambassador
An opportune moment of a main street slash fest involving children from the prime material realms was used to good advantage by the Bone Naga, who entered the room and gave the party the information they needed about the up and coming Demon Council in the Demonweb Pits. Unfortunately, he did not foresee the result of speaking the password in Dark Speech, and immediately Savelius and Lynlora were driven into madness and attacked their helper. This was seen by two Succubi at the window, and when the Bone Naga ambassador teleported away, it was presumed that the party had attacked them. They rushed into the Common Room screaming “blue sun murder”. The dead bodies of the Tiefling servants the party had killed did not mitigate circumstances and soon, a legion of Lamias had congregated on the area, forcing the party to flee in wind form from the city in search of a Night Hag that could direct them to a Charonodaemon to lead them out of Azzagrat via the River of Salt, into the River Styx and hopefully, back to Sigil.
The party decided to attack a travelling ship and abduct a random tiefling in order to sacrifice its soul to the Night Hag in return for passage to the River Styx and back to Sigil. This was done, but in the time waiting for the Styx Messenger, a charnel hound had tracked the party to where they were supposed to meet the Charonodaemon, and when the party decided to materialise from wind walk form and destroy the hound, they soon found it was being followed by two abyssal giants, who proceeded to attack the party. The abyssal giants used their powers of earth moving to create trenches and wielded huge abyssal greatswords yet were still no match for the group. Only when a lamia noble appeared within a Prismatic Sphere did the party begin to worry. While the lamia noble kept watch, two vrocks flew in to attack. These were killed but they were followed by another two carrying reduced Carnevus Demons. While the vrocks flew through the air, the Carnevus Demons unleashed deadly fireballs, doing cold damage and killing Pelius. Valar would also have been killed but as he died, cried out to his God in anguish! And his God listened.
All were transported on to the River Styx on the barge that they had already bargained for and, after two days travelling, the group finally reached Sigil and entered a portal through the Salt Water Fountain in the Lower Ward. With only eight days before the Demon Council of Lolth was to happen, it was time for the party to plan their final venture into the Demonweb Pits.
Return to Sigil
After arriving in the planar town of Sigil, the party made final preparations for their assault on the Demon Council in the Demonweb Pits. They sought aid from the Master and although he was not to be found, he had left the party some gifts. When they tried to find Rule-of-Three they found he was unavailable. Four days of preparation were spent learning new spells, disciplines and gathering information that might be helpful to them. Knowing the time of the Council, they were visited by a servant of the Bone Naga Ambassador who told them that the Arrival Chamber was being guarded but that there was another portal through the Spiral Desert. He also told them that he would meet them in the Demonweb on the day of the Council to give them his Golden Ticket.
The Spiral Desert
They all prepared for a total of four days and then left through a hidden portal, travelling for a full day through the dry desert across a plateau, where they found a portal guarded by driders. They attacked and killed the driders and although they were a day early, decided to enter the Demonweb.
Finding a teleportation circle immediately inside the portal they used it to travel to the Hall of the Great Web, where they picked up the new map of the subsequently changed Demonweb. A drow party were quickly despatched and with confidence growing, they marched on towards the Black Gate, entering the Whispering Corridor and defeating a Whisper Demon and its Allip servants. When they arrived at the Black Gate they found it was guarded by Khasitgaur, a huge giant. The giant was no match for the party but when he was killed, he imploded in a huge bang that alerted Lolth. In a familiar routine the web started shaking and the party decided to swiftly leave the Demonweb and hide in the Spiral Desert till the next day.
The Black Gate
On entering the Demonweb this time, the party elected to use the teleportation circle again and head straight for the Black Gate. A new guardian awaited them – a Deep Dragon! As the party did not have a Golden Ticket, the dragon was suspicious but nonetheless, it invited them to use the Password that would open the Black Gate. When two of the party started running the dragon attacked. Valar was immediately killed by an acid blast, but Zahariel moved in and despatched the dragon in a flurry of swordplay. A minute was spent with Pelius raising Valar from the dead, but somehow the Drow had been alerted and two Elite Patrols arrived in the chamber and immediately attacked. The two drow patrols found much to their horror that the party outgunned them and even when the last surviving mage tried to fly away, the Zahariel aided by magic, was able to intercept the fleeing mage and make sure that his story went no further.
Using the adept skills of Grunthy, the party were able to open the Black Gate and found a room filled with Evard’s Black Tentacles. At first they thought it was empty but as they tried to fly over the tentacles one at a time, they were attacked. Valar was immediately killed, and they were all soon aware of two warlocks who were engaging them in combat from the air. Once again, though, they were able to destroy the warlocks in seconds, and soon after they made a choice and moved down one of the passages.
Into the Demonweb Pits
Within two minutes the group were met by a new enemy approaching them from the opposite direction. Two Drow Knights and two Carnevus Demoms attacked the party with a deadly concoction of armed prowess and magical attack. The new enemy were overcome but at the expense of the life of Savelius.
Once again, Pelius used his powers to raise his dead companion and a couple of minutes later, they headed down the corridor until it opened into a huge webbed hallway covered in webbing and littered with moulted spider carapaces. Grunthy was the first victim of the harpoon spiders who attacked from above, trying to spear members of the party and reel them into their webs. However, with Pelius’s Airwalk spell running on both Zahariel and the Cleric, the party were able to rise above the floor and take the fight to the spiders, killing them in less than a minute and making their way through chamber to the other side.
After moving down the passage for a minute, Grunthy spotted a passageway off to the right, ending in a door to a stone chamber. Looking inside, they found a fountain of blood, a treasure chest and a secret door leading perpendicular to the main passage. They all decided to avoid the fountain, smashed the chest and took the loot and then decided to ignore the secret door, and once more headed down the corridor in the same direction.
Another passageway led off to a chamber of niches and here the party almost met with another tragedy at the weapons of a phase spider and a Drow assassin. While the Phase spider was moving in to attack, the assassin attacked Grunthy from behind and the Elven archer would have died if not for a plea to Corellon Larethian who was able to nullify the effect of the assassin’s Death Attack. The monsters were not so lucky, however, and immediately after the phase spider fell victim to massive damage, the others were able to surround and kill the assassin. Without waiting or investigating any of the niches, the party decided to march on with post haste, ignoring the new direction of the branching passage and heading straight down the way they had been heading, drawing ever closer to the Demon Council of Lolth.
The Tower of the Yochlols
On the next leg of their journey the party found that their path split into two at the intersection of a crystal tower through which they had to travel. Inside were six yochlols interrogating several prisoners. After a very hard won battle, the party prevailed and some of the prisoners were released. However, the party could not stop too long to help as the Demon Council was about to begin.
The Entrance Hall
At the entrance hall to the Demon Council a great battle was fought. The party were separated by a wall of force, with the majority being attacked by assassins and Zahariel and Savelius having to stand alone against a huge iron golem, a Mezzoloth assassin and the wizard Garak from the Fane of Eclavdra. Miraculously, the two managed to survive until the wall of force dissipated; and as soon as the Golem and demon were destroyed, the party followed the fleeing wizard into the Great Hall of the Council of Demons.
The Demonweb Council
At the time of the party entering, several factions of demons were standing separately, awaiting their appointed time to see the Envoy of Lolth and commit their signature to the Pact. Nearest to the door was the Ambassador of Pazuzu, a Vrock lord and his minions, who had already started the Dance of Destruction, now blasting out in all directions and doing some serious harm to the mortals just entering. After that, it was a battle with swords flashing.
When the entourage of Pazuzu had been defeated, the keen-eyed Occulus noticed Thaas and demanded that no other demon interfere as he took the whole party on in single combat. His pride, however, had clouded his judgement and the party were able to destroy him, then moving towards the dreaded aspect of Obox-ob. Obox-ob proved a worthy adversary and many of the party came close to death, but they persevered and moved forward through the entourages of Kostchtchie and Yeenoghu, while at the same time countering the spells cast by the wizard Garak and a High Priestess of Lolth. Demagorgon’s aspect decided to move aside and view the carnage from a safer vantage point, but the aspect of Gra’azt was furious and waded in with his mighty greatsword.
However, even the mighty Gra’azt had totally underestimated the forces of good that he himself had manipulated and in the end fell to the mightier blade of Zahariel. At this stage, the enigmatic Mother of Demons, Pale Night disappeared, Lolth’s constraints on teleporting having no effect on her.
Moving up onto the podium, the party despatched the last of the drow escort including the High Priestess Treason and the wizard Garak.
Lolth’s chamber was guarded by a huge Bebelith, but it was no match for the valiant group that slayed it in charged into the Audience Chamber to encounter the twin aspect of The Envoy of Lolth and her guardian The Fist of Lolth. Both fell to the demonslayers and the Pact of Demons was stopped dead in its tracks.
Escape from the Demonweb
The great challenge was now to escape from the Demonweb before Lolth’s forces could muster to wreak revenge. Luckily, Zahariel had information of a captured cyst that led to Celestia, and the group ran to that place, slaying the last bodak guardian before arriving on a mountain top covered with a host of angels awaiting them.
The party were safely delivered back to their home on Faerun, where Lady Alustriel of Silverymoon had the pleasure of granting each surviving member property, lands and titles, as well as lordly sums of 50 000GP each. Furthermore, the Good Gods whom the party had served conspired to give each of the new lords an extra Feat.
The Pact of Demons, a plot hatched by Gra’azt and Malconthet and presided over by Lolth had ceased to come into being, saving the Good Forces in the tranquil planes from being overrun by great numbers of united demons.
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